Friday, December 25, 2009

Skillet Brownies

We were given several boxes of brownie mix in one of our first care packages from America. We struggled with how we could cook them since we don't have an oven. At first we tried using our toaster oven. All I can say is that it was a disaster. So Chris came up with the idea of cooking the brownies in a skillet. Yes, at this point we were desperate to eat brownies.

1 box of brownie mix
Eggs (amount the box calls for)
Oil (Also the amount called for on the box)

  1. Mix all of the ingredients as listed on the back of the brownie box, except omit the water. 
  2. Heat a large skillet on low heat
  3. Place spoon fulls of brownie mix in the pan in the shape of cookie.
  4. Treat them like pancakes. Cook them for a long time on low heat on the first side. Then when they look done flip them over and cook them for only a few minutes on the other side. 
If you are not able to get brownie mixes from the states don't buy them in Korea. They are about 9,000 won which is equivilant to 8 or 9 American dollars. On the same isle as the brownie mixes you can find almost all the ingredients that you need to make your own mix.

For a gluten-free brownie recipe try Gluten-Free Almond Flour Brownies

Crockpot Scalloped Potatoes

One thing that we can find a lot of in South Korea are potatoes. I had to get used to vegetables that still had dirt on them though. Tonight when my husband went to wash the potatoes his hands turned black with dirt.

5 potatoes, rinsed and chopped. Don't peel them.
1 whole large onion, diced
1/2 cube of butter (I used a whole cube and it was too much)
2 sliced green onions
Lots of mushrooms of your choice, there are plenty in Korea (I used 3 different kinds)
Garlic, minced
Season salt, or regular salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup diced ham or tenderloin (optional)
1/4 cup colby jack cheese (optional)
1/4 cup chedder cheese (optional)
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (optional)

  1. Mix the onions, green onions, mushrooms, garlic and meat together in a bowl. I was going to layer these items like a lasagna, but didn't have time and it turned out great like this. 
  2. Layer your mixtures in the following order potatoes first, then add a dash of salt or season salt
  3. Next add the veggie/meat mixture. 
  4. Place a pat or two of butter on the next layer.
  5. Sprinkle with cheese. You can mix all three cheeses together. I choose one cheese for each layer.
  6. Continue placing the layers in the above order until the pot is full. 
  7. Pour the 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk over the top. 
  8. Cooking on high for at least 3 hours or until the potatoes or soft. You can also cook it on low for eight hours. 
When I made this recipe it was very delicious. I let it cook all day on low. You can use it as a classic potato side dish or add the meat and cheese to make it a one dish meal.

We think this meal might work well without the cheese, but have yet to try it that way. I have found that cheese is very expensive in Korea, so I am trying to reduce my use of it. The original recipe that I based my recipe on did not call for cheese.

Time Saving Tips:
Prepare your vegetable and meat mixture ahead of time and freeze it until you are ready for use. You can pull it out of the freezer the night before you make the dish.

I buy my cheese in 2 lb blocks from Costco. When we first open it my husband grates all of the cheese and then places it in gallon sized freezer bags and put them in the freezer. Whenever we want cheese we just reach in and grab what we want.

 Here are some of the ingredients. Right after I took this picture I looked in the fridge and found several other items that I wanted to add.

This is what the pot looked like after I filled it up and before cooking it.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Crockpot Lasagna

16 oz Prego spaghetti sauce
4 lasagna noodles *
½ lb hamburger
Mozzarella cheese shredded
Cheddar cheese shredded
Fennel seed
1 onion chopped
1 tsp of sugar
2 bay leaves
1. Brown hamburger in a frying pan. Add onion and garlic.
2. Cook until hamburger is no long pink.
3. Mix the sauce and hamburger mixture.
4. Pour a small layer spaghetti sauce in the Crockpot.
5. Add a layer of noodles. You will have to break them to make them fit.
6. Add a layer of cheese.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you run out of ingredients.
8. The top layer should be Cheese or sauce.
9. Cook on high for 1 hour (you can skip this step if you won’t be home)
10. Cook on low for 3 to 8 hours. The longer you cook it the better it will taste, but you really only need to cook it long enough to melt the cheese and cook the noodles.

I had lasagna noodles mailed to me from the U.S. Some on them broke in transit, but that is OK for this recipe since you have to break them to make them fit in the Crockpot.
I found my spaghetti sauce at Costco. I always add other ingredients to give it more flavor. I cooked it for 8 hours the week before and used some of the sauce for spaghetti and froze the rest to save for my lasagna. I added fennel seed, 1 onion chopped, 1 tsp of sugar, 2 bay leaves, salt, and garlic.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Skillet Fried Potatoes

This is one of the first recipies that we made in Korea. Why did we choose it? It had simple ingredients and it reminded us of home. Plus when we went shopping we were able to find the ingredients with out reading Korean.

5 baking potatoes sliced or diced
2 tbs. olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 table spoon minced garlic
Salt or Season Salt
Cheese (optional)

1. Wash the potatoes. Don't peel them. Then cut them.

2. Heat the oil in the frying pan.

3. Add the poatoes, onions and garlic.

4. Season to taste.

5. Cook on a medium temperature until the potatoes are soft, about 20 to 30 minutes.

6. Top with Ketchup and Cheese.

Sometimes to make this a more filling meal we add what ever meat we have available. Usually bacon or ham.

Crockpot Baked Potatoes

4 potatoes (or as many as you need that will fit in the pot)

Sour Cream or Plain Yogurt

1. Wash each potato

2. Stab potatoes with a fork several times.

3. Wrap in foil

4. Place in the bottom of the crock pot and cook for 8 hours on low.

5. Do not add water.

6. When soft remove foil and top with cheese, plain yogurt, butter and salt.

7. You can also place your foiled potatoes on top of other items that you are cooking in the Crockpot. They don’t need water so don’t submerge them.

8. If cooking the potatoes with other items just give the outer layer of foil a quick rinse before removing it to help prevent messes.

Crockpot Pork Roast

3lb Pork Roast

Salt or Season Salt to taste
2 whole cloves of garlic chopped into quarters
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 potatoes chopped in bite sized pieces
1 whole carrot cut into sticks
1 cup of chopped or sliced Mushrooms
1 cup Broth or Water

1. Make little slits in the roast and insert the pieces of garlic.

2. Rub with salt and any other seasonings that you want to add.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan.

4. Brown roast for about 2 minutes on each side. (to save time you can omit the browning process, but it adds to the flavor of the roast. I didn’t brown my first one because I was in a hurry)

5. Place roast in Crockpot

6. Add veggies

7. Cover with liquid. I used the left over BBQ sauce from my ribs earlier in the week. It gave it a good flavor but the BBQ sauce flavor wasn’t too strong. It was very good. You could use water or broth from other meats such as chicken or beef. If you make a lot of veggies you can also save the water that you boiled them in.

8. Cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.

Crockpot BBQ Ribs

This recipe is so easy

1 bottle of Bullseye BBQ Sauce (at Lotte Mart)
1 lb of beef ribs
4 potatoes
1 small container of plain yogurt
Salt or Season Salt

1. Place the ribs in the bottom of the Crockpot.

2. Season with salt

3. Pour the entire bottle of BBQ Sauce over the ribs.

4. Add ¼ cup of water to the BBQ Sauce bottle. Replace the cap and shake to get all the sauce out. Pour into the Crockpot.

5. Stab four large potatoes with a fork several times. Wrap them in foil and place them just on top of the ribs. Don’t submerge them.

6. Cook for 6 to 10 hours on low.

7. When the meal is ready, pull out the potatoes and rinse them with water before removing the foil to get rid of any sauce.

8. Since I can’t find sour cream at a decent price in Korea, I use little containers of plain yogurt (not vanilla). It tastes the same but is cheaper and healthier.

9. You can also add corn on the cob wrapped in foil. I haven’t tried it yet.

10. Always save your sauce. I put my sauce in the fridge overnight and then removed all of the fat that was on top. Save the sauce for a Pork Roast or other meats. You can freeze it until you are ready to use it.

Crockpot Refried Beans

I love bean burritos. It is one of the things I miss from America. I have tried exactly one Mexican resturant in Korea. It was over priced and I didn't like the burrito. So I have taken matters into my own hands. 

If you don't have a Crockpot you can cook the beans in a regular pot or a skillet for several hours until they are soft on a low heat. Make sure you check them often and don't leave them unattended. If I were to use the Crockpot I would have no  problem turning it on and leaving the house all day. Don't do this with the skillet or regular pot. 

1 onion chopped into large pieces

2 cups of chicken broth*
1/3 bag of pinto beans
8 strips of bacon cut into 1 ½ inch strips
3 garlic cloves cut in half
Season salt or regular salt**
All of the ingredient amounts are approximate. You can’t go wrong just throwing things in.

1. Soak your beans overnight. The more times you rise them and the longer you soak them the less gas. I soak mine in the Crockpot.

2. In the morning drain and rinse them. Rinse out the Crockpot and add the beans. You can pick out the ones that don’t look good or that are black.

3. Add all ingredients to the Crockpot. Cook on high setting for about 8 to 10 hours.

4. When the beans are soft. Drain them but save the bean water.

5. Place the beans into a frying pan and start smashing them. I used a potato masher***.

6. Slowly add some of the bean juice back in until they are the consistency that you like them.

7. Some people use butter or olive oil when refrying the beans, but I didn’t find it necessary.

Korean Notes:
* I have not found chicken broth in Korea. I had cooked a chicken in the Crockpot with veggies earlier in the week and saved the broth.

** Remember when using seasonings in the Crockpot that you have to use double the amount you would normally use. My rule of thumb is put in the amount you normally would and then do it a second time. I had a bottle of Johnney’s seasoning salt shipped over from the states. It is our favorite seasoning.

*** I found a hand potato masher at Home Plus for a very cheap price. You should also be careful as it can damage your frying pan.

I now have a blender. Instead of mashing the beans in the frying pan I place 3/4 of the beans in the blender and blend until they are smooth. Then I place them in the frying pan and add the non blended beans for a perfect texture.

Crockpot Chicken

1 whole chicken cut in pieces

1 cup of water
Salt or season salt to desired taste
1 cup of mushrooms chopped
1 large onion diced
1 large carrot chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped in half

1. Place rinsed chicken pieces in Crockpot.

2. Add chopped vegetables

3. Add desired amount of salt (always use more in the Crockpot)

4. Add water until the chicken is slightly covered

5. Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

6. Serve

7. When the broth has cooled drain it into another bowl. Freeze the broth and save it for other recipes such as refried beans.